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Optoma HD803 Home Theater Projectors

Posted on February 20, 2008 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Optoma HD803 Specs
Price 2599
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1200
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.20:1
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 2000 hours full power, 3000 lumens eco-mode
Weight 10 lbs.
Warranty Three years Parts and Labor, with express replacement program, 1 year lamp warranty.

Optoma HD803 Home Theater Projectors -Projector Overview

Check out how the Optoma HD803 fared in our comparison report.

Optoma's HD803 is another variation of the Optoma HD80, and HD8000, however it uses a different DLP chip according to Optoma, and as such, delivers slightly lower contrast than the other two projectors. It is the least expensive of the three, and is available from online resellers, and, I assume, "big box houses". In that regard, its distribution is similar to the HD80, while the HD8000 sells through local installing dealers, adds ISF certification (relating to calibrating the projector), and typically sells for at least $600 more.

I watched the HD803 extensively in my theater, and also viewed it side by side with both the Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB, and the Sony VW40. Those two are about as good as it gets for under $3000 projectors. While the Optoma, overall performed very well, it couldn't match the Epson or Sony for black level performance, but was the sharpest looking image of the three.

From a placement standpoint, the Optoma is a classic DLP projector, sporting a zoom lens with limited placement range, and no lens shift. These two "limitations" pretty much limit the HD803 to ceiling mounting, or placing on a table top. Shelf mounting just isn't practical.

The Optoma HD803 shares that DLP look and feel, that allowed DLP to dominate over LCD these past years. Today, though, the two technologies, from a practical standpoint, are now pretty much equal, with some preferring one technology over the other because of their different strengths. The overall picture quality was very good after my basic calibration. The HD803 offers more out of the box lumens than the LCD competition, but gives most, but not all, of that advantage back, after calibration.

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